September 17, 1940 – June 4, 2013
Erich started his life living in a Nazi concentration camp (eventually a Red Cross camp after the war), his family being both Polish and Catholic. He immigrated to Canada when he was 10 and grew up in Kitchener, Ontario with his late parents (Adam and Helena) and six siblings (Helena†, Elizabeth†, Joe, George, Peter, and Angelica). At 17 he left home, worked on iceboats in Georgian Bay (among other things), even lived off the land in Algonquin Park for 60 days before returning home to find his acceptance letter to join the RCMP. He left the next day for Ottawa for his training.
He began his career in Surrey, B.C. and at a New Year’s Eve dance, 1962, he met the lovely nurse (Carolyn) who would become his wife. They married in 1964 and resided in White Rock until being transferred to Kitimat in 1966 after he attempted to unionize the RCMP! Thus began his lifelong battle against injustice. While in Kitimat he also served as Court Prosecutor. He always loved a good argument and was willing to hear other people’s versions of the truth.
In 1969, he was transferred to the then-Plain Clothes Division in Prince Rupert. He worked the vast areas of northwest B.C. and fell in love with the region, its beauty and its people, prompting the purchase of 138 acres of land in Topley, B.C. In June, 1971, a year after their daughter was born, Erich was transferred to North Vancouver where he served various divisions throughout the Lower Mainland for the next 21 years. Their son was born in 1973, and Erich and Carolyn were fortunate to raise their children and live in the same house until they retired in 1991.
During these years, Erich shared his passion for the outdoors through many family camping trips, photography, golf, travel, and his love of the written word. In 1992, Erich and Carolyn built their dream home on the property in Topley, where they spent the next 21 years. They greatly enjoyed retirement, travelling extensively, golfing, and, more recently, enjoying their five grandchildren.
He is survived by his loving wife Carolyn, daughter Anastasia (Richard), son Marc (Erin), grandkids (Ashley, Chase, Grayson, Piran, Alayna), brothers Joe (Corey), George (Barb) and Peter (Marilyn), sister Angelica (Kevin), brothers-in-law Aylmer (Beth), Bill (Susan), and Bob (Annette), sister-in-law Dolly, as well as a large extended family and many friends. He will be greatly missed by his e-mail friends and acquaintances.
Our heartfelt thanks to his RCMP friends who gave him so much support during his illness. Sincere thanks to Dr. Haskins and his office staff, the nursing staffs of Bulkley Valley and Prince George Hospitals, the Homecare nursing staff, the lab technicians, and all the dear, caring friends and family who supported us during this difficult time. As requested, no service will be held. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Canadian Diabetes Association would be greatly appreciated.